ManSee Kong is a filmmaker and cultural worker born and raised in New York City. Her film and collaborative media works are inspired by narratives rooted in immigrant life and grassroots social movements. Along with artists Tomie Arai and Betty Yu, she co-founded Chinatown Art Brigade in 2015, a cultural collective that facilitates and creates community-led public productions to advance social change.
ManSee has worked as a camera assistant, camera operator, and a teaching artist with Third World Newsreel, Global Action Project, and Tribeca Film Institute. She holds an MFA in film directing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and has received support from Asian Women Giving Circle, Puffin Foundation, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Davis-Putter Fund for Peace & Justice, Spike Lee Production, and Jerome Foundation. Her creative interests in recent years have expanded from film/video to new media art and technologies applied in accessible, community-based and socially-conscious ways.
During her residency at Camargo, she will review her personal archive of nearly two decades of photo, video, and print material documenting tenant organizing in Manhattan Chinatown as a youth organizer with CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities, and develop a film and multimedia project with community-based multilingual accessibility at its core. While at Camargo, she plans to visit tenant organizing groups in nearby Marseilles to learn about local housing conditions and tenant activism efforts. Having time and space at Camargo to reflect and meld these materials, memories, and experiences will allow her to close out years of archiving and community-building towards developing a film and multimedia project that will serve as a chronicle of gentrification in Chinatown and a tribute to a fierce elder Chinatown tenant leader who transitioned in 2019 at the age of 97.
ManSee Kong is in residence at Camargo from April 24 to May 22, 2020, in partnership with Jerome Foundation.